sweet home.

I’m realizing more and more that for me home isn’t tied to a specific place or structure. Home is where we feel known and loved, where we feel free to be ourselves. It’s where we occupy the same space as loved ones. It’s where we breathe easier, laugh harder, and love greatly. Home is a truly beautiful place.

Perhaps my nomadic lifestyle throughout the past decade is part of the cause for this pluralistic perspective. I’ve noticed that I hesitate for a moment when someone asks me where my home is – it’s a complicated question. I live in Oklahoma. I was born and raised in New York. I spent some of my most formative years in Pennsylvania. And pieces of my heart are in Massachusetts and Washington. Can I pick more than one?

This identity crisis really only surfaces when I travel to these places or have visitors that represent these sacred spaces of mine. Recently, we spent a glorious week in Massachusetts with my brother and his family. I’m so profoundly grateful for my brother and our lifelong friendship. And it’s only grown sweeter as I’ve gained an amazing sister-in-law and three adorable nephews.  These five are such a joy to be around and are a treasured part of my family.

As I turned to say goodbye to my brother at the airport, I was overwhelmed with a simultaneous sense of gratitude and of sadness. He is home to me. And in a time where I struggle with feeling truly known in a land of mostly strangers, it’s even harder to leave. Someday we’ll be able to reduce the amount of time between our goodbyes and hellos.

So it turns out Lebron James and I have something in common. Upon reading his essay about making the decision to return to Cleveland, I really resonated with his desire to spend his days in the land he loves, to surround himself with the people who have made him the man he is today, to return to the place that raised him. It’s a beautiful love story between a man and his city.  Sometimes you have to leave a place to know how much it means to you.

That’s the dream, isn’t it?  To live in a place you love, with the people you love, doing the things you love.

For now, my home is Oklahoma.  And I share it with my beloved Benjamin and our lovable, crazy Nimitz.  I’m thankful for my sweet little family and the adventures ahead of us.  It’s a blessing to come home to them each day.

photo[2]

Drew at the beach!

photo[4]

Uncle Ben and sweet Liam.

photo[1]

Lieutenant Hoadley on the U.S.S. Constitution (photo credit to my sister-in-law!)

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And because I’m your favorite crazy dog lady…here’s my new favorite picture of Nimitz. What a goof.

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